Reflecting deteriorating conditions in the housing market and overall economy, a leading construction activity indicator tumbled almost nine points in February
Source: American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C.
Reflecting deteriorating conditions in the housing market and overall economy, a leading construction activity indicator tumbled almost nine points in February. The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index (ABI) shows an approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between member firm billings and construction spending. The February index rating fell to 41.8, its lowest level since October 2001–down dramatically from January’s 50.7 mark (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The AIA Economics & Market Research Group derives ABI from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey.
“This is a clear indication that there could be tougher times ahead for design firms and a noticeable slowdown in commercial construction projects coming online in the foreseeable future,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D. “Interestingly enough, we have some members reporting that their business is in great shape from a billings and demand standpoint. The one bright spot continues to be the institutional sector with continued positive conditions for schools, hospitals and government buildings.”